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In 1984, Robin Leach hosted the first episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous which exposed the exorbitantly luxury lifestyles of some of the wealthiest alive. At the end of each episode, Leach would wish his viewers “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”

The show was not revolutionary. Celebrity obsession and the voyeuristic eye-ogling of extravagant living has been a practice for hundreds of years. Historians refer to Mozart as one of the first rock stars, for example. When moving pictures became commonplace, actors and actresses became starlets of the limelight, much to the adoration of the general population. Along the way a myth was born. These talented people who work hard, get a big break, amass impressive resumes as well as paychecks, have it all. Those who have it all, the myth goes, don’t have problems. Unfortunately, by way of logic, having it all would include everything, even difficulties like mental illness.

Our popular culture makes icons out of normal people who, off camera and behind the scenes, live otherwise normal lives. Yet for many years, it has been considered scandalous when these Gods have their mortality revealed because they become addicted, alcoholic, or mentally ill. When we witness the tragic passing of a celebrity, like the recent deaths of Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain, we hear curious conversation which speculates how they could possibly have been depressed. How they, the rich, famous, and happy, could want to put an end to their fabulous lives. We forget that they, much like us, are human beings. Human beings suffer. Human beings have feelings. Human beings are exposed to trauma and react to trauma. No income bracket, level of fame, or socially accepted marker of success can change that.

During these times, it is important to engage in dialogue with friends, family members, and coworkers alike. As headlines rush newsstands and internet search engines suggesting even people like celebrities can experience mental illness, we have to talk. We have to talk about the fact that mental illness is normal for humans to experience and that celebrities are humans too. We have to talk about the delusion of the golden finish line we’re taught to chase after with the hopes that crossing it will lead to unshakeable happiness and immunity from life.

During treatment, people learn that recovery also is not access to immunity from life and life’s circumstances. Instead, they learn that recovery is living life on life’s terms without turning to self-damaging coping mechanisms in response. We all can experience mental illness. We call can experience recovery and healing.

The Guest House Ocala offers residential treatment programs for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Customized on a concierge level of care, our programs are designed to meet the unique needs of each guest. Call us today for information on life on our private estate: 1-855-483-7800